Felix Hernandez to get more rest, then start Tuesday
Mariners give Hernandez plenty of time to rest his back
Seattle Times staff reporter
The back is better.
But erring on the side of caution, the Mariners won't return Felix Hernandez to the mound until Tuesday, when he will start against the San Diego Padres at Safeco Field.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge said before the game Friday night against the Dodgers that Hernandez "feels really good" after resting the back since having last pitched June 1 at Chicago.
Hernandez allowed four earned runs in five innings against the White Sox that day, his shortest outing of the year. He said afterward his lower back was sore.
He didn't start against the Angels last weekend, but has reported feeling better in recent days.
The Mariners had left the starter for the game Sunday as "TBA" in case Hernandez could make it back in time. Wedge said Hernandez "could definitely" start Sunday but that regardless of going Sunday or Tuesday he would get just six more starts between now and the All-Star break.
"So it makes more sense to take the cautious route and give him until Tuesday," Wedge said.
Hernandez likely will throw a bullpen session Sunday.
Luetge takes in
Rookie reliever Lucas Luetge, a native of Texas, had never been to Seattle before last month, so he's taking advantage of off days — such as Thursday — to see as much of the area as he can.
"Especially in baseball, you never know where you're going to be tomorrow," he said. "After being at some of the other places I've thought 'I wish I'd done this' or 'I wish I'd done that.' "
Luetge, in fact, used his Twitter page to solicit ideas from fans about what he should do on his off day.
"I figured what better way than to ask the people around here?" he said.
He said he got quite a few suggestions, ultimately settling on seeing the Fremont Troll, Snoqualmie Falls and a couple of restaurants, accompanied by his wife, Lacie.
Next off day, he said, he's looking for a good hike.
• The Mariners spent about a half-hour before batting practice working on situational infield drills. Wedge said coming back off an off day was a good time to do the drills. "It's just about trying to stay sharp," he said.
• As part of the team's seasonlong 35th anniversary, Edgar Martinez threw out the first pitch.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @bcondotta